BRONIN FOR MAYOR- WERE WE PLAYED FOR FOOLS?
Does anyone else remember Luke Bronin's publicized visits to homicide and shooting victims with the media following him during campaign season. Where are those visits now, or do crime victims only matter when you are running for votes claiming you are going to be tough on crime? Have I missed Bronin's visits to any of Hartford's 15 homicide victims families this year or even the numerous shooting victims, or maybe he is just not taking the media like he did at campaign time.
I think leaders can be measured by their character and actions AFTER they get elected, not before hand when they are busy conning the voters and busy buying their votes.
I know, I know, how naive can I be. It is all part of the political game, say whatever you have to say to get elected and once you win you can forget everything you promised until the next election cycle.
Well, it is time we start paying attention to facts and not political rhetoric.
The fact is that both the Hartford Police and Fire Departments are in worse shape now that they were the day Luke Bronin took office.
Another fact is that Hartford is becoming more violent by the day. A 63 year old man , Jeff Worrell was murdered this past Sunday. His gray matter splattered on a picnic table on Westland Street as he was enjoying a Sunday afternoon in a park. Shot in the head most likely by an 18 year old thug with a gun in his hand. Most likely a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time for Jeff Worrell, which makes it even more disgusting.
This most likely wasn't a case of a drug deal gone bad or some gang activity, instead it was most likely an 18 year old thug trying to prove how tough he was by being able to pull a trigger on an illegal handgun in his possession. He just happened to not be able to aim and hit the wrong person. Not the person that threw the bottle at his car that he was trying to hit, but instead his bullet shattered the skull and spattered the brains of a 63 year old man enjoying a peaceful Sunday.
Much of that can be attributed to the growing lawlessness in Hartford.
Lawlessness that has so many root causes, but the lack of Police Officers on our streets is a big part of it. Despite Luke Bronin's campaign promises, we have probably seen 12 new police officers hired and hitting Hartford's Streets during the Bronin Administration. Another class of 14 is in the Academy now, but that is a far cry from the almost 150 officers the City is short. Add to that the lack of a police contract and the lack of support from City Hall for our police officers and I think you get the picture. Those numbers have not provided any net gain for HPD as the attrition due to retirements and Officers leaving for other Departments has far outweighed any additional replacements.
There isn't a lot of pro-active policing going on under the Bronin "leadership" and neither is there a lot of spare time for it in a Police Department that is spread dangerously thin, and the same goes for the fire department also. Excessive fatigue is a potential recipe for disaster in both agencies.
Numerous "Shotspotter" activations indicating actual gunshots are a regular and numerous daily occurrence in Hartford.
Yesterday, apparently 6 juveniles joy riding in a stolen SUV, mowed down a couple of pedestrians on Sigourney Street. According to a PD source, one of the victims had a leg amputated by the vehicle after it struck her. In a move that makes you wonder what values young people are being raised with, a young man was more intent on recording the severed leg and posting it to facebook than rendering any assistance to the victims laying on the sidewalk before EMS arrived
The class of 40 Fire recruits that was supposed to start in May actually started last Monday, but that is still a drop in the bucket to the numbers that are needed to restore HFD to the levels it needs to properly function without endangering other firefighters from fatigue. At last count, HFD is roughly 120 firefighters short. And a class of another 70 is needed to attain basic numbers. The City is waiting for approval on a Federal Grant to hire another 70, but there is no guarantee that will happen.
The Hartford Police Department is in a similar, if not worse, situation. The exact number varies depending on who you talk to, bust most estimates are that HPD is close to 150 officers short. Since Bronin has taken office, one Academy class of 14 officers has graduated and another class of 14 is currently in the Academy. Those numbers have not provided any net gain for HPD as the attrition due to retirements and Officers leaving for other Departments has far outweighed any additional replacements.
This attrition has resulted in fewer Community Service Officer's on the streets, the elimination of the pro-active Condition's Units, and overall a general reduction of Police presence on the streets of Hartford. Hartford's Animal Control Officers have also faced the axe due to budget cuts by Mayor Bronin.
Every day these conditions exist, Hartford Police Officers and Firefighters face an increased risk of harm in their positions and the people of Hartford also face increased risks by Bronin's false election promises.
It is time the Mayor is held accountable for statements he used and made to get elected.
According to Bronin's election website: "Whether it’s the Department of Public Works, the Finance Department, or the Fire Department, we can’t try to ignore or hide our challenges or our weaknesses. We need to get under the hood, shine a light on the problems, and fix what’s broken.". I am not sure Luke has even been able to find the latch to open the hood yet because he hasn't done much to fix the problems.
It still seems to be "the sky is falling" mantra. Give me what I want or I'll declare Bankruptcy is what we keep hearing, but I haven't seen much done yet to change or fix Hartford's structural challenges. After almost two years into the Bronin Administration, the whining is wearing thin. Luke , you were elected to do a job, not put on your big boy pants and do it.
In your first "State of the City" address in 2016, you stated "
"In years past, we might have hoped for relief from the State of Connecticut. Today, the State of Connecticut faces its own crisis, and the best we can probably hope for is to avoid getting cut.
We can’t expect any bailouts from the State."
Yet this year you further indebted the City of Hartford by borrowing millions of dollars based on a promise from a Legislator that money was coming from the State. That promise was never fulfilled and it doesn't look like it will be any time soon and quite frankly, I think Legislators are tired of your stunts at the Capitol and I still have the text messages on my phone to prove it ( but no one is ever going to see those because I understand confidentiality).
So again Luke, I have to ask you, "What is your plan?"
And running around threatening bankruptcy and yelling the sky is falling, is not a plan, if it were , we would have the $ 50 million dollar payments coming in that the large corporations promised when you come up with a viable plan for sustainability.
Forget your future political aspirations and start doing the job you were elected to do for the people of Hartford, it probably won't move you up the political ladder as you had hoped, but it is what you promised. And I am sure as your parents tried to raise you right, you were told "your word is your bond " and "integrity matters". So now live up to it and stop being a politician.
Lives depend on it
Two more people were the most recent innocent victims of Hartford's senseless violence and lawlessness. I believe that yellow plastic in the foreground is covering the severed leg of one of the victims. The same body parts that a young man was recording to post on Facebook, before EMS covered it.